The rain stopped on the seventh day, the black veil of cloud that hung snare-like over the village giving way to blue skies and feathery cirrus.
Vitor sat on the balcony staring across the river, cigarillo clamped between yellowed teeth, smoke caressing his face. Behind him, the door banged open then shut.
‘It’s time.’ Enzo’s voice was tight, higher than usual.
Vitor raised his hand, waved the cigarillo.
Sighing, Enzo snatched it from his fingers, dragged over a crate to sit beside him. ‘I want to get it over.’
‘You need to be sharp, but calm or you’ll make mistakes.’ He could feel the boy stiffen, offended by the slur.
‘I won’t -‘
Vitor shrugged. ‘We all do.’
They gazed across the spiralling water, watched a harpy eagle soar and dip over the walking palms.
Finally, Vitor stirred. ‘Go fetch him. And make sure he’s blindfolded.’